What is the Suzuki method?
Developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, this approach to learning music helps each child reach their full potential, based on the belief that “every child can” develop musical talent. Students of the Suzuki method include international soloists, professional musicians, amateur musicians and music lovers alike.
The Suzuki method mirrors how we first learn to speak, an approach that follows a natural progression:
When learning to talk, we hear language spoken around us constantly. Similarly, the Suzuki method emphasizes daily listening to music to provide continual exposure to the language of music.
A vocabulary that grows over time
When learning to speak, we start with simple words and gradually add more difficult ones. We continue to use these simple words in conversation even as we add new ones. Just as when we build our vocabulary, the Suzuki repertoire builds complexity from a basic foundation and includes frequent review.
Peer interaction using a common language
The desire to communicate with other people is what drives us to learn language. In the Suzuki method, learning and playing music with other children in group classes facilitates rapid progress. The method is based on a shared musical repertoire, allowing students to play together easily as they share their musical ideas with one another.
Just as parents help us learn to speak, they are important “practice partners” in the Suzuki method, helping students with daily practice sessions.
When first learning language, we began talking before we learned to read. Likewise, the Suzuki method first emphasizes learning music by ear. Once students master basic skills, they then learn to read music. The method also teaches music theory, essentially the “grammar” of music.